It's been four years. And I'll say it - it's easier. Last year I went through a forced catharsis in two parts: the first, the first a trip to the city to let the images in my mind heal, the second in finishing and publishing my zine of the Katrina experience.
It's not that I've forgotten. It's that I've finally begun to heal.
I spent a little while this afternoon reading the zine again, which I haven't done in probably ten months. For a while I had been unhappy with it - it's such a complex subject, and no matter how much I edited when I read the final copy I felt I'd still missed things and got things wrong. But now, with the perspective that time gives to writing, I can see that it's good. Just oddly paced. The reading confirms what I've known all along: I need to turn it into a book.
And that's my plan. I hope to publish it in time for the fifth anniversary. I think I can do it in a year. There's a lot to do, a lot to write. And there's the matter of finding someone who might want to publish it, or else deciding to just publish it myself. Yes, there's work to be done, and that work began today with the reading.
I suppose this is how I cope with the atrocities of life - converting them from "my trauma" to "my story". I'm not the first, lord knows. It's as good a method as any, as far as I'm concerned. At least it produces something, unlike other approaches I've tried.
Today is odd, far too much going on in my world for me to process it all. But the sun is coming out, which is some consolation.